Housing Program

Americans Helping Teachers Grants
AHT Logo 2022 American Helping Teachers Grants

Americans Helping Teachers will award five grants per year totaling $20,000

Americans Helping Americans will donate up to $20,000 in grants to provide educators the ability to meet the needs of a classroom at his/her Appalachia region school.  We select Educators who will use their grants to meet an unmet classroom or school need.   Schools must be located within the Appalachian Region and must meet the needs of students in economically challenged areas, as reflected by the school’s publicly available financial demographic profile (at least 25% free and reduced lunch & Title I).

2023 GRANT AWARD WINNER

Lisa Banner

Therapy Dog
Forest Area School District, Tionesta, PA

$4,000

Lisa Banner is a teacher in the Forest Area School District with just two PK-12 schools serving 400 students in the only Appalachian county in the state considered to be “distressed” by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Lisa is using her grant to help purchase a school therapy dog.

“In our post-COVID world, the mental health of students is a heightened priority,” says Lisa. “Students missed a couple of years’ worth of social interaction which has had a definite effect on their development, which impacts their behaviors in the classroom. We have witnessed an increase in elementary and high school students who are having trouble expressing their anxieties and frustrations. The purchase and implementation of a therapy dog in daily school life would be an amazing addition to our tool kit for mental health.”

The expected accomplishments as a result of having a therapy dog in the classrooms include: improving reading skills, helping students cope with school stress and improve their mental health, increasing their confidence level and general mood, and “time with a dog can be used as an incentive when students are working toward goals for attendance, behavior or academics.”

Kelli Smith

Creating Life Skills Opportunities for CDC students
Rush Strong School, Strawberry Plains, TN

Kelli Smith, a special education teacher at Rush Strong School will use her $4,000 grant for her project “Creating Life Skills Opportunities for CDC (Comprehensive Development Classrooms) Students.

“My students work hard to overcome challenges that many other students are not faced with,” said Kelli in her grant request. “Around half of the class is faced with a challenging home life. In the past, the CDC class had been in the back of the school and kept to themselves. Recently, we have worked very hard on including our CDC class into the general population.

“This grant would provide opportunities for my class to experience life skills opportunities that they otherwise would not be able to experience. Some experiences include running a class coffee cart business for teachers in the school, planning, shopping, and cooking a Thanksgiving Feast for some teachers in the school, developing Plainsmen Pals, a new peer tutoring program, and so much more.”

“Inclusion is invaluable and changes the lives of my students and the peer tutors,” says Kelli, adding that receiving the grant “will drastically change my class, and students’ lives.”

2022 GRANT AWARD WINNER

Sarah Jo Jones, Christy Williams, Jessica Vaughn

The Cavalier Oasis
Carroll County High School, Hillsville, VA

$4,000

Carroll County High School Career and Technical Education students and student clubs plan to work collaboratively to create two outdoor learning environments, a Zen garden and an outdoor classroom. Americans Helping Teachers grant funds will be used to purchase building materials, plants, seeds, garden decor, and stone.

Destiny Ramey

Biology Activities
Lee County Middle/High School, Beattyville, KY

$5,000

Biology teacher Destiny Ramey will use her Americans Helping Teachers grant to both purchase dissecting equipment and preserved animal specimens to dissect as well as supplemental equipment for her chemistry lab that the school cannot fund. Any remaining funding will be used to develop a hands-on activity outside for the students during their study of ecology.

Renee Foraker and Lauren Sexton

Amygdala Recalibration Station
Rush Strong School, Strawberry Plains, TN

$4,000

Rush Strong School will use the Americans Helping Teachers grant to provide a mental health space, The Amygdala Recalibration Station, for all students. A multitude of students would benefit from this space. This space would be used as a proactive measure for students to take a brief break in their day to retrain their brain and refocus before entering back into the classroom. This station would revise the environment and replace the behavior. This would reduce distractions in the classroom and allow students a safe space to process and redirect their behavior.

Christy Brown and Heather Estep

Reset Area
Wasburn School, Washburn, TN

$4,000

Wasburn School will use the Americans Helping Teachers grant to create designated spaces for elementary-aged students to retreat and regulate. They will be calm, comfortable spaces. They may include but are not limited to, sensory manipulatives, a writing space, headphones for music, low lighting, soft colors, weighted items, scented oils, and varied textures.

These spaces will be designed to positively impact learning experiences. Many of the school’s students do not come equipped with the ability to self-regulate. When students have access to a space or materials that help them learn to readjust, it can positively impact their trajectory, not just in the classroom but hopefully in life.

HOW IT WORKS

Primary applicants may be either a teacher, educator, counsellor, or librarian, etc., in the PK-12 classroom, and must be a full-time employee of the PK-12 school. Educators can apply for up to $4,000 to meet the needs of their school or classrooms. Grants are awarded at the start of the school year and recipients will have the immediate school year to complete their project.

 

THINK OF THE DIFFERENCE AN EDUCATOR CAN MAKE

Americans Helping Teachers grant funds may be used for:

Americans Helping Teachers Grants

> Promoting new innovative lesson plans or curriculum development.

> Improving the academic achievement of students.

> Introducing professional hard skills required for careers.

> Educating on mental health/trauma.

> Field trips/transportation.

> Weight is given to unique, self-driven projects.

Americans Helping Teachers Grants

> Promoting new innovative lesson plans or curriculum development.

> Improving the academic achievement of students.

> Introducing professional hard skills required for careers.

> Educating on mental health/trauma.

> Field trips/transportation.

> Weight is given to unique, self-driven projects.